Wole Soyinka turns glorious 80

What you need to know:

  • Yet, the importance of Soyinka for me is not so much his global repute as a colossal African writer who, with others of his generation, thrust Black Africa onto the scene of global literary networks, but in the immediacy of his pronouncements to our Kenyan experiences.
  • Soyinka’s sensibility to the perils of bigotry is captured in poems on the Biafran war and the human displacement that arose out of that implosion.
  • If Soyinka’s early poetry concerns itself with such profound issues, it is also known for having stylistic and structural barriers that make the poems almost impenetrable.

In Wole Soyinka’s Death and The King’s Horseman, the drama of human weakness plays out in Elesin’s flip-flop when he should will himself to death as custom prescribes.

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